NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

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elissa barnard

I wrote about arts and entertainment for 35 years for the Chronicle Herald and can't give it all up quite yet. My email is elissa.barnard@gmail.com

Bone Cage: powerful, dark tale of rural N.S. at FIN

Bone Cage is a chilling, 89-minute film about a blighted, rural anti-hero in a small Nova Scotia town. As Taylor Olson’s first feature, it is a landmark film, screening online now to Sept. 27 through FIN Stream (Atlantic International Film Festival). Like David Adams Richards’ novels, Bone Cage exists in an Atlantic Canadian ethos of poetry and poverty, crushed dreams and doomed lives. The film stars its Halifax director and […]

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A walking puzzle for Halifax

Theatre artist Annie Valentina and web developer Isa Grant both love puzzles. With DISPATCH they take you on a walking game in Halifax to Sept 27. DISPATCH is “real-time storytelling, delivered to you in an entertaining and interactive format,” says actor, playwright and director Valentina, in a press release. A few years ago when she was in the United Kingdom friends introduced her to London’s Hidden City Hunt – a […]

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Halifax Theatre for Young People presents Brundibár digitally Wednesday

Halifax Theatre for Young People presents the company’s  2019 production, Brundibár, digitally with online streaming Wednesday, June 3, 7 p.m. With music by Hans Krása and libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister, the uplifting half-hour opera (presented in English) is about children embracing the power of music and friendship. Tessa Mendel directed a cast of 15 students from across HRM, performing with musicians Scott Macmillan and members of Symphony Nova Scotia, with […]

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Mayworks Festival goes Digital this year

The Mayworks K’jipuktuk/Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts has gone online this year and runs today to May 31. Digital offerings (at mayworkshalifax.ca) include galleries, playlists, screenings, audio-led walks and online events. Works include Vista, created by Zuppa Theatre Co. and James Tyson with Andrew Burke,  a walking tour that can be done anywhere and that, according to a press release, “sets out to ask big questions without […]

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Musical spoof, Giant Shark Killer, to stream for free online show

Amanda Mullally, Sarah Richardson and Alynne Sinnema star in Kick at the Dark Theatre Co-operative’s fringe hit Giant Killer Shark: The Musical, presented as a sing-a-long livestream April 15. (Stoo Metz) With theatres shuttered and seasons thrown into chaos, Kick at the Dark Theatre Co-operative presents Giant Killer Shark: The Musical – A Sing-a-long Livestream to entertain people stuck at home. The “hilarious, silly, musical spoof,” according to a press […]

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The Color Purple sweeps the Merritt Awards in YouTube ceremony

Merritt Award-winners Janelle Cooper as Sofia with Tara Jackson as Celie in The Color Purple at Neptune Theatre. (Stoo Metz) For its first time ever Theatre Nova Scotia went to YouTube to make sure this year’s Merritt Awards gala went ahead. Over 950 people watched the live broadcast with hosts Kathryn McCormack and Henricus Gielis, a virtual red carpet and food and drink suggestions publicized pre-show. Neptune Theatre’s season-closing musical […]

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1960s musical of Shakespeare’s As You Like is a blast

Maggie Power as Rosalind gets bumped by flower children Moonbeam (Nicole Sheppard), left, and Cori (Mea Tonet) in the Highland Arts Theatre’s psychedelic production of As You Like it in Sydney. (Chris Walzak)  I have never really liked As You Like It until now. Turns out all it needed was 1960s music and Wesley Colford’s playful, clever spin on Shakespeare’s comedy about young love and mistaken identity. As artistic and […]

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Flip the calendar to March for feel-good comedy in Calendar Girls

Marlane O’Brien, Burgandy Code, Francine Deschepper, Martha Irving and Shelley Thompson star in Calendar Girls, at Neptune Theatre to March 29. (Stoo Metz) Calendar Girls is a heartwarming comedy with a dream cast that got an immediate standing ovation on opening night. Director Jeremy Webb puts a crisp, fast-paced, nicely-nuanced spin on this British tale  with Nova Scotia powerhouses Shelley Thompson, Martha Irving, Francine Deschepper, Burgandy Code and Geneviève Steele. […]

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Theatre designers talk at Government House tonight

Theatre Nova Scotia designers talk about their process tonight, 7 p.m., at Government House, 1451 Barrington St., Halifax, as part of the Evenings @ Government House series. To register for the free event call 902-424-7001 or online (lt.gov.ns.ca; click on News & Events)). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Talking about how they concept to final design in a theatrical production are costume designer Emlyn Murray, a graduate of Dalhousie University’s […]

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The Bridge and The Color Purple lead 2019 Merritt Award nominations

Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge, produced by 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre in association with Obsidian Theatre, is up for best new Nova Scotian play and outstanding production. (Stoo Metz) The Color Purple (Neptune Theatre) and Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge (2b theatre and Neptune Theatre in association with Obsidian Theatre) have each received multiple nominations for the annual Robert Merritt Awards. Also on the nomination list are emerging companies Keep Good […]

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